Thine is... SOLARIS

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Postby deadbass » Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:49 am

Thine is the golden glow of day,
Thine is the blue hue of twilight,
Thine are the worlds of two shadows:
Thine is Solaris.

One thing can be said about Solaris: it is BIG. The sphere's radius is 16,800 million miles. It's displacement is about 1.9862*10e+31 cubic miles. You could put Greyspace, Krynnspace and Realmspace into Solaris, and still have some room left over.

From the phlogiston, Solaris's crystal shell looks like a soft brown disk, somewhat like polished wood. The sheer size of the shell has been known to make people naucious. The sphere is made of a crystaline material, and is coated with a strange, jell-like substance. If one were to walk on the outer surface of the shell, the ground would seem slightly elastic, allowing someone to sink a few inches. Why this material is on the outer surface of the sphere has never been adequately explained, but whatever it is it absorbes any magic that is thrown at it, causing the magic force to ripple away over the vast surface area of the sphere. All attempts to carry the jell away from the shell have failed. Apparently, the jell can only exist where the shell and the phlogiston connect. This jell has never been found anywhere else in the known spheres. As an upshot of the jell, the sphere is allowed to make a saving throw against a Create Portal, saving as an 18th level wizard.

Fortunately, stable portals are well marked. At some point in the past, someone placed several pyramids on the outer surface of Solaris. These pyramids neutralize the magic eating jell, allowing portals to be created normally. The pyramids appear in groups of three, and are spaced anywhere from two hundred feet to three miles apart, on an equalateral triangle. A Locate Portal will locate a trio of pyramids, and a Create Portal will be altered by the pyramids to make a portal appear between them. Clearly, these pyramids were created by someone with a good reason to enter the sphere, otherwise they would not have gone to the trouble. On several occasions people have tried to enter the pyramids themselves, but never has one been found with an enterance of any kind. This is curious, because they clearly have chambers inside.

These pyramids are the only way to enter the sphere, but since there are at least two thousand sets, this isn't much of a problem. Finding one of these sights from the inside the sphere is done by using a detailed star map of the sphere. The stars in Solaris are artificial firegems, like those of Greyspace. Since random portals never occur, the star pattern in the sphere has never changed in recorded history. The stars figure prominantly in religions and legends throughout the sphere.

Some sages have suggested the Juna as the builders of the Pyramids and the ones who put up the stars. In truth, they are even older, because some old artifacts have suggested that the Juna used the pyramid portals the same way people do now. Even the mighty Spelljammer uses the pyramids (albit one of the well spaced sets).

While the outer surface of the sphere is smooth, disturbed only by the pyramids, the inner surface is very rouph and uneven. Some of the mountains reach up nearly ten miles, and some of the canyons drop just as deep. Since the sphere is about five hundred miles thick, this would be difficult to notice in a cross-section, but it is very noticeable upon entering. Some travellers have compared entering Solaris to flying through a range of enemorous mountains.

The stargems rest in special recepticles and are spaced anywhere from three hundred miles to twelve million miles apart. They are not as hot as the gems in Greyspace, but anyone who touches one would still be incinerated. The colors of the stargems vary tremendously, and some have been known to change color. This suggests that the gems are somehow tied to the demi-plane of radiance.

Among the peaks and vallies of the inner surface of the sphere are the Briarvines. These are forrests of a plant similar to infinity vine. This plant grows very slowly, but a single patch can cover several square miles. The patches of vines cluster around the stargems, using them as a source of heat and light. The best part about these patches is the fact that they can provide air and water for a travelling ship. Some of these forrests support life, and in some cases communities of intillegent beings.

The most noted communities of this sort are the Vagabond Cities. These are settlements of humans and demi-humans who have for whatever reason taken up a life in this remote wilderness. If someone wanted to dissapear, this would be the place to try it. Aparusa are common among these people, along with dowhor, bartering whatever they can. If you find a Vagabond City (seven have been recorded), you can find almost anything that money can buy. The population of the cities averages around 2000, and all of the recorded ones have been within a day's travel of a portal. These cities make a convienent stopping point before leaving, or upon entering the sphere.

The other noteworthy feature of the sphere shell is the catacomb network. At the base of some canyons, entry tunnels can be found, leading to a huge network of caves and passages within the sphere shell itself. It is assumed that these were drilled by the same race that built the pyramids, but nobody in recorded history has ventured more than a few miles into the network. In theory, the tunnels lead clear to the other side. Considering that all of the charted entry tunnels lie near a portal, this makes sence. What is known is that they are inhabited by a variety of subterranian beings. One drow nation, with a space fleet, is known to live in one section.

Note however, that Solaris is not a Dyson Sphere, like Heardspace (See "The Maelstrom's Eye," Book three of the Cloakmaster Cycle for a description of Heardspace). The vegitation that grows on the inner surface and the life that lives there is not the primary ecosystem of the sphere. In fact, they are analagous to lichen on a large rock: along for the ride.


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